Once you reach your 40s or 50s, life can start feeling a bit more empty despite all visible proof of success. You have the job, the paycheck, the career, the diplomas, the car, the mobile, the wines, the bike, the travel, the clothes. But somehow the joy seems more distant than before. This might be a sign that your professional life should change in some way. Spend your next 20 years doing something valuable.

Let Peter Drücker guide you

Peter Drucker noted that our priorities change as we get older and that we should adapt for example by becoming social entrepreneurs. Yes, it might sound obvious that life changes, but I don’t think we always note and embrace this change. We are bombarded with messages of extreme youth, never ending beauty, and constant health, and it is said our attention spans are now shorter than that of a goldfish. I say: don’t believe this stupidity. As Søren Kierkegaard said: “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” It is up to you to harness your wisdom, slow down, read as long texts as you want, and think about how to spend the next 20 years of your work life.

One way of going forward is by following the advice of Peter Drucker. You can either grow older and continue focusing on your satisfaction and growth. You have your boring job, but you get a raise in pay every year. Or you can start thinking about creating something of value outside yourself. Yes, the comfort zone breaks, but perhaps it is sunnier on the outside?

Create your future

“The best way to predict the future is to create it,” said Drucker. One way of doing this is by seeing the signs on the horizon, and adapting to them. This happens a lot when people talk about how future technology could impact our jobs. Another way is using your wisdom to create something the world has never seen before. Remember Arthur Schopenhauer’s “Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.”

Therefore, if you stare in the mirror and wonder about what to do next, you have an option: Either you dig a deeper hole and buy that red sports car, or you start looking beyond where people in your profession are looking. No, I don’t say this is easy. But I for sure think it is worth it.

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Patrik Bergman
Privately: Father, husband, vegetarian, and reader of Dostoyevsky. Professionally: Works as Communications Manager at www.haldex.com